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20 August 2009

Magda Stanova – Discovery Award, Rencontres d’Arles 2009

Presented by Joan Fontcuberta. Photographer, artistic director of the Rencontres d’Arles in 1996.


Art is for me a way to communicate a few little things I have found out about the world. These are usually banal details from daily life, in which resides hidden poetry. During six years of studying photography at art school my interest moved away from the ‘pure’ photograph and focused on the snapshots people take of family, friends, holidays, vacations and groups. Snapshots have an enormous value for the person who is either a part of, or somehow related to, the people or place which has been photographed. But how does a photograph get this value? Why is photography such a fascinating medium? In the visual essay titled In the Shadow of Photography, I attempt to answer these questions. The work consists of three chapters. The first searches for the specifics of photography; the second investigates the photographic world; and the third examines how people’s behaviour and thinking has changed since the invention of photography. The work includes such topics as photography as a time-travelling machine, why being photographed gives people stage fright, how the present is becoming a stage for the future, and how we lose the possibility of an authentic memory from the attempt to conserve it in a photo. These reflections are presented through the mediums of drawing, text, collages, photographs, objects, video and animation.

Magda Stanová

Exhibition venue: Grande Halle, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2009.